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Monthly Archives: November 2020

Avalanches in Scotland – interview with Mark Diggins

As wintry conditions develop on the hills, we put questions from Walkhighlands users to Scottish Avalanche Information Service co-ordinator and senior forecaster for the Cairngorms, Mark Diggins. 1. How many avalanches are there in Scotland a year involving walkers and what are the most common causes? During last winter 2019/20, 27 avalanches were human triggered – this basically means that they were set off by people who were traveling in avalanche start zones in avalanche terrain (see diagram below) walkers are equally susceptible in terms of entering this type of terrain when following paths that are covered by snow. For

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Posted in Features, Magazine

Hamish MacInnes, the Fox of Glencoe

Hamish MacInnes, a giant of Scottish mountaineering and mountain rescue, passed away at home on Sunday. This tribute from Dave “Heavy” Whalley MBE BEM was originally published on his blog. There will be much written by many in the mountaineering world who climbed with Hamish MacInnes over the years. His exploits are legendary and so impressive. Hamish climbed all over the world, yet his passion was Scotland. He wrote many books of his exploits; they, like his films, are a part of his legacy. I got to know Hamish through Mountain Rescue where he was known as “The Fox of

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Posted in Features, Magazine, News

Scottish Outdoor Access job cuts despite growth in walking and cycling

Landowners and outdoor groups are jointly calling for better resourcing to support Scotland’s world-class access rights – as a new survey highlights alarming cutbacks in countryside access jobs. Scottish Outdoor Access Network (SOAN) polled all 34 access authorities on how they manage access, a topic which has hit the headlines during the Covid era due to booming numbers of people heading outdoors. The survey showed that during 2019/20: ·       Six authorities do not employ a single Access Officer; skilled professionals who find practical solutions to access challenges, and ensure the local authorities carry out their statutory duties ·       The equivalent of just 36.5 full-time

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Posted in Access issues, Magazine

Gear Review: Fjällräven Expedition Pack Down Hoodie

Recommended Price: £275 (£255 without hood)Weight: 435g (S) This retro-styled mid-warmth down jacket is part of Fjällräven’s new Expedition range. An extremely cold night in a snow hole bivouac in 1974 inspired company founder Åke Nordin to come up with the original Expedition jacket – basically two down jackets sewn together. I’ve been using some recent cooler weather to check out this modern product of the intervening four decades. Constructed with wide sewn-through baffles, the insulation consists of 110g of down (90% warmer goose and 10% duck) with 700 fill power and a reinforcement of synthetic padding at the shoulders.

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Posted in Gear reviews, Jackets, Magazine

Walking in Scotland’s level 3 & 4 areas – part 2

Do you live in one of Scotland’s local authorities that are currently under level 3 Coronavirus restrictions? We’re taking a look at what walking opportunities are still available to you, within the government guidance. The first half of this article, covering level 3 Coronavirus restriction areas from Angus to Glasgow, can be read here. Inverclyde The classic walk in Inverclyde is the excellent Greenock Cut, a circuit following an old aqueduct above the towns, with fantastic views across the Clyde. For a short outing, Craig’s Top rewards the effort of ascent with panoramas over both Greenock and Gourock, or there’s

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Posted in Access issues, Features, Magazine

Walking for those in Scotland’s level 3 & 4

The continuing coronavirus pandemic has seen restrictions on travel in Scotland (and the rest of the UK) – cutting down on the areas where we can walk. Those of us who are lucky enough to live in Aberdeenshire, Argyll & Bute, Borders, Dumfries and Galloway, Highland, Moray, Orkney, Shetland or the Western Isles are currently allowed to travel and walk within all of those areas, but not travel into a level 3 area for a walk. But for those living in a level 3 area, all is not lost – as you can still travel to begin your exercise throughout

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Posted in Access issues, Features, Magazine

Campaigners warn of fragile future for Scotland’s beavers

Britain’s beavers could be major allies in tackling the climate and extinction crises – but without more public and government support face a fragile future, says Beaver Trust as it launches a new documentary film exploring the country’s relationship with the endangered but controversial species. The charity’s short film, Beavers Without Borders, explores the benefits and challenges of reintroducing beavers to Britain’s landscapes. It hopes the documentary, launching on YouTube on 15 November, will appeal to a wide audience and promote discussions around ensuring a better future for the species. “It’s a critical time for beavers, with the UK Government

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Posted in Magazine, Nature

Coronavirus advice on walking and travel clarified

The Scottish Government has clarified its advice on walking and outdoor exercise for those who live in areas under Tier 3 or 4 restrictions. The new guidance states that if you live in a tier 3 or 4 area, you are permitted to travel upto 5 miles out of your local authority area in order to go for a walk or other form of outdoor exercise. Walks (and bike rides) outside your local authority area are also permitted if the walk (or bike ride) starts and ends within your local authority. The full new guidance on travel is available here.

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Posted in Access issues, Magazine, News, Walkhighlands news

Langholm community’s "impossible dream" set to come true

The South of Scotland’s largest community buyout is set to go ahead following one of the most ambitious community fundraising campaigns ever seen – with the community of Langholm in Dumfries and Galloway raising the final funds needed in the nick of time. The bid was previously featured in David Lintern’s Walkhighlands feature, Langholm – a landscape of hope. A landmark community buyout agreement of £3.8 million for over 5,000 acres of land has been reached between The Langholm Initiative charity and Buccleuch – paving the way for the creation of a huge new nature reserve to help tackle climate

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Posted in Access issues, Magazine, Nature


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Walking can be dangerous and is done entirely at your own risk. Information is provided free of charge; it is each walker's responsibility to check it and navigate using a map and compass.